Why Morality Matters
by C.A. Matthews
America is in its last days. We are suffering from late-stage cancer--er, capitalism. Perhaps my Freudian slip is closer to the truth than many think. Our world is dying because of the long-held belief that rich men know what's best for the rest of us. That is, somehow the obscenely wealthy actually care for their fellow human beings.
If we're honest with ourselves,we know that's not true. The one-percent care for one thing and one thing only--their net worth. Their fellow humans are an afterthought. We are simply here to serve the rich man and to do his bidding. Above all, we're not supposed to get in his way or confound his plans to amass more wealth because of his "golden rule" that states, "One can never have enough gold to rule."
In a purely capitalistic society everyone must meet his/her needs by selling needed products and services. Those who cannot sell (or entice anyone to buy) their products or services are poor. They become dependent on their relatives or other kindhearted people to provide for them--food, clothing, housing, etc.
In recent times this list also includes providing funds for education or training and health care coverage via a private insurer. When a family cannot afford to provide these necessities for one or more family members, they often all go without. Capitalism sees this unfortunate situation as a necessary evil. You can't sell enough of your product or service because of a natural disaster or unfair trade practices favoring the rich over the working poor? You don't eat. You don't have a place to live of your own (or a home at all). You don't have access to health care even if you or a loved one becomes seriously ill.
Persons who don't produce don't have a reason to exist in a purely capitalistic society. Infants, toddlers, children--they don't produce products or services so they're not needed, are they? The elderly who can no longer work--not needed. The disabled--not needed. People who cannot provide a wanted or needed product or service--not needed.
"But," you say, "We don't throw our children or our blind grandmothers under the bus! We take care of them." If you are able to provide 100% of their care without taking any aid from the government, then you are free to keep the non-necessary people in your household, just as you would take care of a cat or dog. No one can tell you how to spend your money, right? But if you ever find you can't afford these non-productive individuals, or no longer wish to care for them, they will become a burden to society and will have to go.
How do we get rid of these unnecessary and unwanted individuals in a purely capitalistic society? Through the cheapest and easiest methods, one supposes. We stop feeding them. We don't give them health care when they need it. We don't worry if they're homeless or not, unless they are cluttering up our local park benches or sidewalks--then we give them a one-way bus ticket out of town or lock them up in a for-profit prison and force them to work for free.
It makes sense in a capitalistic society. You don't waste your resources, and you certainly don't waste time and energy on maintaining unnecessary "eaters." You let them die off and fade away.
Is this the sort of society you envision America becoming?
Can you see why morality matters now? Do you have a picture in your mind of how late-stage capitalism acts like a cancer upon our country? The United States isn't a purely capitalistic society, of course. We have instituted several socialistic programs over the last 100 years or so, such as a progressive income tax, Social Security benefits, Medicare and Medicaid.
When people argue about the "evils of socialism" they seem to forget that without Social Security/Medicare/Medicaid their grandparents might not be able to pay their heating bills or afford to go to the doctors or pay for a bed in a nursing home if they need one. By accepting a "social safety net" for our most vulnerable family members, Americans are acknowledging the fact that we are already practicing "socialism."
Democratic Socialism is the idea of instituting social safety net programs such as universal health care while maintaining a democratic form of government, one where all can vote and no one is prevented from voting because of race, gender, religion, etc. Alas, Democratic Socialism is often confused by right-wing commentators with Soviet-styled Communism.
Soviet-styled Communism is authoritarian. It is a government led by an authoritarian leader or governing body. Democratic Socialism on the other hand supports grassroots democracy. The voice of the people is paramount in a Democratic Socialistic society and becoming active in the governing of society is encouraged. It provides social safety nets for the vulnerable members because the people demand a moral and just society. It sees all Americans as equals and having the same rights. Democratic Socialism affirms the dignity of all individuals since all individuals are seen as worthy of having those rights. Money, class, race, religious preference or gender does not make one person better than another or deserving of more rights than other members of the society.
Whenever someone tells you that morality has no place in a discussion of American politics or government, tell them you believe in a moral and just society, not a selfish and immoral one. Remind them of the social safety nets Americans already have in place and ask them if they're willing to give them up. Let them know that, if they should become sick or disabled, you're not financially able to care for them or that you believe only certain classes of people deserve to be helped. That statement alone might make them think twice about why morality matters. Nobody likes feeling unwanted.
After all, no man is an island. We exist in society. The word society comes from the Latin for "community." A moral and just society is healthy and productive. And even a die-hard capitalist can see that a productive community is a profitable one, right?
Morality matters because all human beings matter. Make a difference today. Practice moral behaviors and support moral causes.
Alienation 2.0: Commodification of the Soul in Late-Stage Capitalism:
Instances of Immorality in the News This Week:
Gun Violence by the Numbers:
Hundreds Allege Donald Trump Doesn't Pay His Bills:
White People Explain Why They Feel Oppressed:
Landlords' Exploitation of Millennials--Rent for Sex:http://theantimedia.org/rent-for-sex-landlords-exploit-broke-millennials/?utm_source=The+Anti-Media+Newsletter&utm_campaign=06c1b7782e-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2018_02_05&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_177e8c8195-06c1b7782e-25664505
Porn Star Stormy Daniels Sues Donald Trump Over "Null and Void" Disclosure Statement:
Here's the story of an individual who takes the immorality of Western culture's "throw away" mentality and turns it into beautiful art and functional furniture:
Democratic Socialism in a Nutshell:
From the Sum of Us:
More than 837 institutions with total assets of more than $6 trillion, have committed to stop investing in fossil fuels companies, taking a clear stance against the main drivers of climate change. But the Nobel Foundation is not one of them -- yet.
Last year the foundation which awards the Nobel Prizes, was forced by campaigners to divest entirely from nuclear weapons-related companies. Public pressure works!
Let’s add our voices today to the climate activists in Sweden, and Nobel laureates around the world, calling on the institution they love to divest from fossil fuels:
It will take more than withdrawing Nobel’s money to topple oil and gas giants like Exxon, BP and Shell. But a public commitment to divest from all fossil fuels, from one of the world’s most famous foundations, would be worth its weight in gold as a signal to wealthy institutions everywhere.
The Nobel Prize was awarded to Al Gore and the world’s top climate scientists in 2007. It’s high time that the Nobel Foundation took the next step, and put its money where its mouth is. Responsible investors should no longer be profiting from the destructive activities of corporations like Exxon, BP and Shell. And especially not the Nobel Foundation, which aims to highlight work done for the benefit of mankind.
Fossil Free Sweden began their Nobel Divestment campaign in 2016, after they successfully persuaded the cities of Malmö and Stockholm to divest from fossil fuels. Since then more than 20 Nobel laureates and scientists from around the world have joined the campaign.
The campaign demands that the Nobel Foundation:
- Immediately adopt a new investment policy -- where financial investments that the Nobel Foundation manages are not allowed to be invested in companies that gain more than 5% of their revenue from coal, oil and gas
- Adopt a plan for how to divest all assets within those companies within a 5-year period
- Report the transition process in an open and transparent fashion
- Publicly declare the foundation will divest, i.e. clearly show the intention to completely cease with financial investments in the fossil fuel industry
- Call for other institutions to follow suit
Sign the petition to tell the Nobel Foundation to stop profiting from corporations fueling climate change.
SumOfUs members have weighed in many times to help climate activists and frontline defenders, facing near impossible odds against giant oil pipelines, coal mines, and other fossil fuels projects. We're also pressuring clothing brands to make their supply chains go green, and help spur a planet-saving energy revolution. Let’s raise our voices again to make the Nobel Foundation wake up and finally divest from fossil fuels.
Thanks for all that you do,
Eoin and the team at SumOfUs
Eoin and the team at SumOfUs
Open Letter to Nobel Foundation Nobel laureates and scientists. 7 December 2016.
Divestment Commitments 350.org. 2018.
Six Questions and Answers on the Investments of the Nobel Foundation Nobel Foundation. 2017.
NRATV is the gun lobby’s propaganda arm. It spreads dangerous misinformation and inflammatory, racist rhetoric to further the NRA’s “guns everywhere” agenda. And it’s brought to you by Apple, Amazon, Google and Roku, that help amplify the NRA’s extremist voice by offering NRATV on their platforms.
Since the Parkland shooting, thanks to activism from CREDO members and people all over the country, the NRA has been under relentless attack. Polling after the Parkland shooting showed record high support for gun control as well as a growing belief that the NRA’s policies are bad for the country.1 Corporations are abandoning their NRA partnerships in droves.2
Now is the time to go after the NRA from every angle. That’s why we are joining with our friends at Everytown for Gun Safety to increase the pressure on NRATV providers. The more of us who raise our voices, the stronger our pressure will be.
Tell Apple, Amazon, Google and Roku: Dump NRATV. Click here to sign the petition.
NRATV promotes dangerous conspiracy theories, racially charged rhetoric and violent demonization of the NRA's political opponents.3 Their hosts and guests have recently compared their political opponents to Nazis and ISIS, seemed to advocate for violence against peaceful protesters, demonized the Black Lives Matter movement and relentlessly attacked the media. After Parkland, NRATV hosts and guests “spoke chillingly of leftist plots to confiscate weapons, media conspiracies to brainwash Americans into supporting gun control and a “deep state” campaign to undermine President Trump.”4
There is no question that the NRA is to blame for our country’s gun violence epidemic. There is also no question that our activism is closing the gap between their power and ours. Part of our power is consumer power, and now is the time to use it.
Streaming services like Apple, Amazon, Google and Roku need to know that we expect them to make ethical decisions about the content they provide on their platforms. They also need to get the message loud and clear that we will hold them accountable if they continue to promote the dangerous extremism that comes from NRATV. Click the link below to tell Apple, Amazon, Google and Roku: Dump NRATV:
Thanks for helping us stand up to the NRA,
Heidi Hess, Co-Director CREDO Action from Working Assets
Add your name:
- Quinnipiac Poll, "U.S. Support For Gun Control Tops 2-1, Highest Ever, Quinnipiac University National Poll Finds; Let Dreamers Stay, 80 Percent Of Voters Say," Feb. 20, 2018
- Kira Lerner and Josh Israel, "The NRA is being supported by these companies," ThinkProgress, Feb. 20, 2018
- Cydney Hargis, "A guide to NRATV: NRA's news outlet is a hybrid of Breitbart and Infowars," Media Matters, Mar. 2, 2018.
- Jeremy W. Peters and Katie Benner, "Where the N.R.A. Speaks First and Loudest," The New York Times, Feb. 21, 2018.
Worker cooperatives are ESSENTIAL to democratic-socialism,but are rarely mentioned. They actually define democratic socialism,and need to be prioritized.These are businesses owned and managed by the workers themselves.They would need to be financed by zero interest federal loans. Within time they could become big businesses that would threaten the existence of billionaire corporations. We need to keep small businesses,but also create severe ethical regulations over billionaire corporations,and end government collusionReplyDelete
Very true, Angela! I think worker cooperatives would be very popular with workers IF they even knew they existed. Once again, our mainstream media, owned and operated by the billionaires and in collusion with the government to keep the money at the top, prevents ordinary citizens from knowing about things that could truly help them and change our society for the better. Thanks for your comment pointing that out.Delete
On balance, Perotin concludes, “worker cooperatives are more productive than conventional businesses, with staff working ‘better and smarter’ and production organized more efficiently.”